West Hartford Library Wants You To Be Happy
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The West Hartford Libraries has launched its year of happiness.
In doing so, the library is offering a full year’s worth of special programming centered around the things that make people happy - like music, meditation, food, games, and even homebrewed beer.
“We wanted something that’s positive and all inclusive of ages,” said Carol Waxman, the children’s librarian at the Noah Webster Library, who will offer special programming like chocolate making to children.
Some of the offerings are similar to what the library offered the last two years at it’s how-to festival. But instead of hosting them all on the same day, they are spreading things out over the course of 12 months.
They will still have a featured day of happiness programs, though, as a whole lineup of smile-inducing programs are set to be offered at the library on Sept. 28.
With it, the library wants its guests to think happy. It is encouraging people to express that on their happiness trees located in the library.
“These programs are designed or focused on making people think about themselves and what makes them happy,” said Ann Marie Salerno, the library’s head of circulation. “They aren’t our typically book lectures. They are focused on people and their likes and hobbies.”
Waxman hopes the programs help connect the library with the community more by bringing new guests into the building.
“We’re reaching out in different ways to bring people in,” Waxman said.
“We just want people to think of the library as a place to come to that makes them happy,” Salerno said.
Also part of their year of happiness is the bolstering of a program called “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation.”
Through the program, in partnership with the Fern Street Food Ministry at the Universalist Church of West Hartford, the library offers backpacks full of food to children who during the school year would receive free lunches.
“The children who receive free lunch at school, in the summer they can’t get free lunch,” Waxman said. “But they still need the food. We have backpacks with groceries they can pick up.”
But this summer, the library wanted to make the backpacks more fun, so they are including new items in them like snacks, a book, and family games.
The library will be holding a collection drive in May and June of snacks and books at the town’s middle schools and high schools, as well as at all the branches of the library. A donor is providing family games, Waxman said.
The library also hopes to come up with another community service project that staff members can get involved in later this year.
It’s all in the hopes of inspiring happiness in the library and across town, they said.
“People want to do nice things,” Waxman said. “Everyone wants to help. They just don’t know how. We think of the whole person. We care about them. It’s not just about handing them a book. We care about them as a town resident. We want to do nice things for people who come through our doors.”
The full list of happiness events, which will continue to be updated as the months advance, can be found online at bit.ly/theyearofhappiness.
Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com